Pakistan news April 17, 2011

Zulqarnain Haider to return to Pakistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider is reportedly preparing to return to Pakistan and has said he is hoping to resume his playing career. Haider, who fled to London last year after claiming he had received death threats from match-fixers, suggested he had been reassured by a meeting with Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik in London last week, and would withdraw his application for asylum in Britain.

"After meeting with [the] interior minister and getting assurance of my and my family's safety in Pakistan, I have decided to return home on April 24," Haider told Pakistani private TV channels GEO and ARY from London. "After getting this assurance there is no need for me to continue with my asylum application, which I will withdraw."

Haider, 24, went missing from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai on the morning of the fifth and final ODI against South Africa on November 8, saying he had received death threats from unidentified people seeking to draw him into match-fixing.

In the aftermath of his flight, Haider announced his international retirement and his contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was suspended. A fact-finding committee subsequently set-up by the PCB to look into the affair failed to find any clear motives behind his actions. A PCB official has said that there has been no contact between the Board and Haider, and their only knowledge of his return to Pakistan had come through media reports.

Pakistan newspaper The News carried excerpts from a letter written by Haider to the UK home secretary, Theresa May, days after Haider's brother Aqeel was quoted as saying that Malik had given assurances over the safety of Haider's family. The letter, reportedly written by Haider, outlined his decision to withdraw his asylum claim and thanked Scotland Yard for its efforts.

Haider originally fled to the UK to seek protection and placed an application for asylum that hinged on the nature of the information he was able to divulge into the Pakistan match-fixing scandal, as the extraordinary nature of his case appeared to fall outside the usual conditions required of a person seeking refugee status.

The application was still being processed when Haider announced he would be returning to Pakistan. In order to formally withdraw the application, he will have to fill in and return a 'Withdrawal of Asylum & Human Rights Claim' form. The asylum application will not be treated as withdrawn until the form signed by the applicant is received by the UK Border Agency.

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  • Khair ul on April 20, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Well if he wants to be a part of the team again, he should come clean and tell everyone what all the drama was about. That is the least they deserve for causing such an embarrasment at such a crucial time.

  • zain on April 18, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    he wouldn't go back to playing safraz ahmad and salman are the only dog fighters if he lucky he'll go back to playing domestic

  • Zam on April 18, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    One is tweedeldee with his hands and another is tweedelDUMB in his clarity of thought. Or perhaps it is a lack of strategic thinking by the boards that is reflected in the myopic selection of teams and teven he choice of their captain in choosing optimal time for utilizing powerplays.

    Pakistan needs leaders who think from the head and not just the heart. Cricket has evolved and teams that don't inculcate such qualities in their youngsters would produce players and results like the West Indians are doing.

    They must be a cautionary tale for Pakistan atleast.

  • Richard on April 18, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    good way to come in front of the slectors

  • V.L on April 18, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    This guy's story can be made into a comedy movie. It will be better than the Ultimate Disaster movie and BORAT!

  • karthik on April 18, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    10...7...5...may be he is next in the list

  • Bijoy on April 18, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    No need for haider Plzzzz .One's he had left the team in the midway which made other to make fun of Pak Cricket . Now pak cricket is coming back from the setbacks they had for last 1 year . Mr.Haider your cricketing career has ended.

  • karthik on April 18, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    The greatest joke will be if he gets a chance to play the team of tainters

  • Yasir on April 18, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I am Pakistani, could not agree more with Jai Ganesh, "it is such a shame lots of talent sink down in this country......if the administration is on track you guys are a strong team". President of the country is Patron in Chief of PCB.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2011, 9:58 GMT


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